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Average reading time is about 5 minutes AN AMAZING FACT: Some plants have leaves naturally coated in flammable oils in order to encourage fast, intense fires. Not by accident, these plants have heat-activated seeds that require fire or intense heat in order to open and germinate. This fact reveals the useful purpose that fire is intended to play in nature. But it has not always been viewed this way. Prior to 1910, forest fires burned as much as 50 million acres annually in the United States. As awareness and interest in national parks increased, lawmakers established rules and funding to protect these national treasures from this perceived threat. A law enacted in 1908 permitted deficit spending in the case of emergency fire situations. As a result, in 1910 the Forest Service acquired a $1 million deficit due to emergency fire suppression efforts. Public education campaigns, such as Smokey the Bear, trained the general public to perceive all wildfire as a threat to civilized society and natural resources.
Beginning in the 1970s however, perception of fire management began to shift. In spite of increased funding, massive wildfires continued to be prevalent across North America. It was discovered that, in actuality, suppression of fire in certain ecosystems not only increases the likelihood of a wildfire, but also increases the intensity of those wildfires. Allowing the natural cycle of fire kept the underbrush clean, thus making for shorter, less intense fires, which in turn allowed the bigger trees to survive.
Jesus said, “I am come to send fire on the earth” (Luke 12:49). Though unpleasant, fire is important. As seen in nature, it is necessary for purification and regeneration. The same is true in our lives. Instead of perceiving our trials as a threat, let’s view them as messengers of God to either remove the dross from our life or, by our patience in suffering, to display His faithfulness to others.KEY BIBLE TEXTSBeloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 1 Peter 4:12But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 1 Peter 4:13